Friday, November 30, 2018

'Förgänglighet' by Åkervinda

30 November 2018

One of my highlights of this year’s WOMAD Festival (reviewed here in July 2018) was seeing the Finnish female a cappella quartet Tuuletar (whose album 'Tules Maas Vedes Taivaal' I reviewed here in January 2017). The distinctive sound of Scandinavian female vocal harmonies is a favourite of mine, from Tuuletar to Danish folk duo Vingefang (reviewed here in September 2018) to the legendary Finnish group Värttinä (reviewed here in August 2017). So I am enjoying listening to ‘Förgänglighet’ - the new album by Swedish and Danish female vocal quartet Åkervinda, which is completely unaccompanied voices. It’s fascinating to see the similarities between folk music traditions in geographically adjacent areas and you can clearly hear echoes of Scottish folk singing in these Swedish/Danish songs, as well as examples of the scrunchy vocal harmonies that characterise Finnish traditional music, which themselves have much in common with the Estonian choral sound and the famous female choirs of Bulgaria. ‘Förgänglighet’ is an interestingly varied collections of songs, with some delicate, whispered passages alongside the more rousing choruses – best listened to intently and intimately on headphones.

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